By Bethany J. Royer
PIQUA — Attendees of the 68th annual meeting and 47th installation of the Order of George hosted by the Piqua Chamber of Commerce took to their feet three separate times with a round of applause for the 2014 recipient of the prestigious award Thursday evening at the Piqua Country Club.
A friend, mentor, counselor, role model and a quiet yet spirited promoter of all that is good in mankind. A priest for over 68 years — his story presented by Jim Oda, former Order of George award recipient and Piqua library director, at the podium. How the impending recipient was born and raised in Piqua and returned to the area nearly 30 years ago to under take a thousand plus member organization.
In what Oda explained was a sometimes divided group into a meeting of both the mind and the heart.
This year’s Order of George has a number of degrees, has studied overseas, and finished formal schooling with a masters degree in education. He has pursued activities in education, counseling, social work and administration and has held positions as an academic dean, dean of students, vice rector, treasurer and business manager for St. Gregory and St. Mary Seminaries. He served as associate pastor at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic Church in Bridgetown, taught religion and math at Cincinnati Elder High School.
“He is known for his culinary skills,” continued Oda, stating this tireless worker is involved in a number of local organizations including Compassion Network, Hunger Walk, Piqua’s Parochial Schools and many others.
This year’s 2014 Order of George was then presented to the Rev. Angelo Castera or Father Ange, the crowd of area business and city leaders, members of the Chamber and more, on their feet for a lengthy applause.
After Father Ange made his way to the podium he replied, “This must be a big mistake.” followed by a lengthy pause before continuing. “You know, I never thought I would be speechless.” Which led the audience into laughter and more applause as he spoke of God working not only in himself but in others and to never underestimate how the lord guides and directs.
“Lord, thank you, you’ve not been asleep on the job,” said Father Ange who was once more greeted with a crowd on their feet and a steady applause, before State Representative Richard Adams presented the long-time priest with a special resolution for his many years of spiritual service.
Along with the 2014 Order of George award, Edna Stiefel and Diane Wilson received the Chamber Achievement award for their volunteering of time and talents that included helping to prepare newsletters, invitations, answering the phone, proof reading, and more. With William (Bill) S. Palmer III receiving the 2013 Business Person of the Year Award for being actively involved in the enhancement of the city. The nomination letter states Palmer is, “a quiet leader and not a boastful man, but one that leads by example.” He is respected and admired by everyone from colleagues to peers and employees.
Palmer is a supporter of the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Ambassador and through his business, Palmer Bolt Supply Company has supported the Piqua Community Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, the Piqua Area United Way, the Salvation Army of Piqua, the Piqua Arts Council, Piqua Juvenile Education Fund, St. Mary Parish Family Festival and more.
For the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce 2014 Commercial Beautification Awards for exterior restoration and renovation of existing facilities or newly constructed structures that enhances the area. Whether it is an industrial, commercial or public building, was presented via four awards to Rob and Julie Alexander and Bethany and Daniel Hickman for the 8090 Looney Road location, the former Hunt Pepsi office and distribution center, home to Journey Salon, Winans and Dr. David Littlejohn.
Owners of the new Main St. business Can’t Stop Running were also presented with a 2014 Commercial Beautification award — Ryan and Amanda King, along with Bill and Kathy Palmer for Palmer Bolt & Supply. While Nancy Luce, Upper Valley Career Center superintendent, accepted a 2014 Commercial Beautification award for the center’s $25 million renovation project.
Bethany J. Royer may be reached at 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall